The modern Lacoste man for Spring/Summer 2007. (inset)Philippe Lacoste, Director of External Relations of Lacoste S.A.
...The modern Lacoste man for Spring/Summer 2007. (inset)Philippe Lacoste, Director of External Relations of Lacoste S.A.
...PHILIPPE Lacoste, the director of external relations of Lacoste S.A., had good reason to be mad.His
suitcase was missing when he
arrived in Bangkok for the inaugural Asian launch of their Spring/ Summer 2007 collection.
Yet this charming Frenchman was calm as he
proudly talked about the giant clothing brand and its efforts to move with the times.But then again, this official spokesperson for the company is probably used to the perils of air travel due to his
frequent trips around the world to preserve the values that the famous crocodile logo represents."The logo is a symbol of quality, style and relaxed elegance," said Philippe and of course, it remains very "personal" to him because it refers to the nickname given to his grandfather and the company's founder, René Lacoste, who was a legendary tennis champion boasting three French Open, two Wimbledon and two US Open titles.
"My grandfather was always trying to improve things," said Philippe
An epitome of the Lacoste man, who is "cheerful, relaxed and elegant", Philippe
professed a preference for bold colours like yellow and bright pink.
Our loyal customers get old too and if we do not move ahead, it's a good way for the brand to die," Philippe
says with a grin. "Preppy" was fashionable again and inevitably a "modern twist" was much needed to attract the younger generation of customers.In 2002, Christophe Lemaire, one of France's sharpest designers, joined Lacoste as creative director and to date, has successfully transformed the brand into a young, upbeat and sexy fashion label.
To maintain the momentum, Lacoste
also produced a stream of products associated with leisurewear ranging from bags, shoes and watches to fashion accessories and fragrances."In 1997, our product mix was 92 per cent clothing, eight per cent accessories.Today it's 60 per cent clothes and 40 per cent in other products.And global sales have doubled too.Shoes have also done exceptionally well - along with bags, they make up seven percent of total sales," said Philippe who is also the director for the footwear and bag division.
"There is also great potential in Asia, of course.The infrastructure, education, people and knowledge are moving so fast and we (Lacoste) want to be part of it.This is only the beginning," enthused Philippe
on the booming Asian market for the brand. Today, Lacoste
can be found in modern boutiques across Asia and is fast expanding its presence in Malaysia.And on that positive note, Philippe's
missing suitcase in transit - containing his
"navy blazer, chinos, jeans and lots of Lacoste polo shirts" - was found and on its way to the hotel.